Category Archives: Administration

Cisco UCS FlexFlash Configuration of Secure Digital (SD) Card

 Cisco UCS FlexFlash /SDCard Configuration for Booting Server Operating System.

As most of the Cisco UCS users might be aware that Cisco has now add a lot of improvements and new features on the latest upgrade 2.2(1e).

One of the feature which we have started using is Cisco FlexFlash which is an SD Card. Its fully support if you buy the SD  Card from Cisco and we can even do mirroring on the Flash cards for redundancy, we will be installing ESXi Server 5.5 on these blades after mirroring them.

So where and How to install the Secure Digital (SD) Card  ?

If the CISCO UCS B200 Blade is in the Chassis you will need to power it off and slide it out just half way through and you should find the SD Card slot on the left

 

cisco ucs sdcard slot

for more information on how about this can be found on the following link http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/unified_computing/ucs/hw/blade-servers/B200M3.html

As you might be aware that CISCO UCS blade is just as equal to a brick and all the configuration is done on the logical server called Service profile. you will need to create a new  / clone an existing Service profile template and modify with the below changes which I have shown below on this post.

You will have to create a boot policy with CD Drive (legacy ) and SD Card and Some time you may end up getting this error ‘ advanced boot or secure boot configuration cannot be applied to the specified server There are not enough resources overall ‘ if you see it follow my blog post.

I have to make you aware that if you want to use SD card with Mirroring or RAID 1 you have to create the following new policies and create a Boot policy as mentioned above.

1. Disk policy with Mirror and any configuration

Raid_policy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.   We have to create two Scrub policy under policy ( you can call it any thing you want which makes you understand what configuration you have selected)

  1. Flex Flash Scrub
  2. No Scrub

So where will you find the Flex Flash Controller?

Click on the Left pan on Equipment and Select the Chassis then the Server, on the right you will find the below details

click on Inventory and select the last tab which is Storage on the Storage tab you will find FlexFlash Controller

Note: this FlexFlash is only support if you are running 2.2 (d1) firmware.

(more…)

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Microsoft System Center Orchestrator Installation on Windows Server 2012

Hi Folks,
Finally I got some time to write the post for installing  Microsoft System Center Orchestrator(Beta) 2012, I have installed this on Windows Server 2012 datacentre  (Beta edition) as I have been testing it for a while now. (download link for SCCM 2012:  http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/server-cloud/system-center/default.aspx )

Please go through the pre-requisite documentation for more detail information on installation of SCCM and good luck finding it J

According to my experience their are the 3 main pre requirements

  1. .NET 3.5 or above
  2. MS SQL Server ( I have installed MS SQL Server 2008 Express edition ) please go through my post on how to install SQL for SCCM
  3. Firewall ports need to be unlock

To be honest once you get the SQL installed and configured in the way I have shown on my recent post : https://quraishi.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/microsoft-sql-server-2008-express-for-system-center-configuration-manager-sccm/

There is very little to worry about, the installation of SCCM should be very swift.

Just to define few terms which I will be using in my post / screenshots

Server Name: SIZMIC1

Domain Name: Sizmic

SQL Instance: MSSQLSERVER Read the rest of this entry

Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 Express Installation for System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)

Hi this post is focused on installing SQL Express server ( which is a free distrubation from Microsoft) customised for Installing Microsoft System Center Confiruration Manager.

The first step you need before installing the SCCM product is to get the My SQL 2008 Installed and running. However the installation is a little diffrent to be able to allow the SCCM to connect to SQL Database instance.

Once you launch the setup you will find it extracting all the required files then you will see the below screen chose the Install tab

Note I have install this on my C Drive, however its highly recommended to keep the SQL Database setup on a different partition.

In this screen you can see that Setup inspects all the required rules click <OK> Read the rest of this entry

Virtualization Technologies used today and its benefits!

Most of the business today are choosing virtualization for Server consolidation, however along with that they get a lot more benefits:

  • Reduce power and space requirement in data centres
  • Fast application and service provisioning
  • Improved manageability
  • Business continuity

When these factors are measured by a survey taken by f5 few years a go we got the following results.

This clearly explains that the Businesses are focused to do server consolidation and reduction of power and space requirement which is the driving factors even today.

The types of virtualization do we currently have ? as discussed this on my previous post, I am going to compare them today.

According to surveys taken recently we have the following stats.

This clearly explains us that most of the Virtualization technologies are been used today, however still the most popular one is Server virtualization. Never the less this is taken on a different level today to get the Desktop virtualization for the end users companies like Citrix and VMware have got a lot of powerful products for this. Read the rest of this entry

Consolidating IT Infrastructure by Virtualization

As we all know today the main priority is cost savings in every organizations. Keeping this in mind majority of companies are seeking alternative method of saving cost.

One of the way which has become most popular today is consolidating IT infrastructure.   That is by getting rid of old, crapey hardware that has been running for donkeys years!  which keeps braking every fortnight.  Also another concerning factor is space in the Data Center are already filled up, and companies cannot invest in setting up a new data centres, as it will involve huge investments.

So, most of the companys are looking into different types of virtualizations. They are 3 types of virtualizations which are avalable today.

Full Virtualization

  • Hypervisor contains the Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM)
  • Guest OS unchanged, Host can be any kind of hardware
  • Guest uses generic device drivers

Hardware Virtualization (a.k.a. Hardware Assisted)

Are you Secure when you browse the web ?

Hi All,

I have a question today?

How fussy are you to which Wi-Fi signal you connect?  i.e., connecting to an open or a secure Wi-Fi connection.

As we know that most of the Coffey shops and pubs allow you to use the free Wi-Fi open connections. Do you even think twice before connecting to a open Wi-Fi signal?

Please put some time to understand what is the risk involved in using an open Wi-Fi connection.

I know getting internet connectivity when your out and about will look like a blessing. However all your data and your laptop itself can be compromised by anyone connecting to open Wi-Fi connections.

Some people think that having a Anti-Virus program or an Firewall enabled laptop will keep them safe, what they don’t know is when they setup the connection with an open Wi-Fi connection they have already established a trust relation with that router.

Windows 7 gives warning to the user that its very risky to connect to a Open and un-secure Wi-Fi networks yet most of the people I know still connect anyway.

Moreover I know a couple of friends who bought a wireless router and started using it without setting up of security key or changing the default admin password. Read the rest of this entry

Put Ubuntu Release Candidate on Test – Version 10.10

Just spent some time installing the New RC edition of Ubuntu 10.10 also known as Maverick Meerkat. First thing that impressed me is the installation which took just 10 minutes, after giving some basic information and creating a standard user along with the system name.

I installed it on Vmware platform with only 512 mb of memory and 20 GB virtual disk space.

Installing Ubuntu on VMware Player

The system runs very smooth on such less configuration, the amazing thing even after the full install only 2.5 GB of disk space is utilized.    Read the rest of this entry

Memory Support in Windows – Kernal v User Virtual Addressing

Last week I was on a workshop by Microsoft it was for troubleshooting performance issues on Servers.

One of the interesting thing which I came across in the workshop was about the memory management  and the way Windows handles the memory.

By default Windows allocate’s virtual address space to User mode and Kernal mode, Windows assumes that it has 4 gb of virtual address space and it splits it into two half.

ie. 2 GB virtual address space to Kernal and 2 GB virtual address space to User

We can tweak it and  allocate virtual address space to programs 1 GB to the kernel and to executive component.

This is how you can do it:

First un-hide the hidden files and folder make sure you unhidden the Operating system files too.

on the root directory ie C drive you will find boot.ini file take a backup of it on keep it safe.

Edit boot.ini and add \3GB at the end Read the rest of this entry

Where in the World is Ibrahim Quraishi?

 

I haven’t had a chance to write a new post in a while because I’ve been busy working at Orange. I am mostly involved in managing and maintaining Microsoft Windows 2k and 2k3, however we still have some of the legacy WinNT 4.0 nightmares every now and then. I have been working on HP Open View Operations version 8 involving some auditing on our servers.

I have finally become Expert in configuration of iLo Management Boards for the HP Bladservers also have had training by HP for HP BladeSystem Administrator

I am also quite keen on learning to use the magic of BladeLogic, ( running jobs for package deployments)

Apart from that I’ve been playing with VM Ware ESX server and also the VM Ware Infrastructure 2.0 managing quite a lot Virtual Machines, should admit Virtualization is really good fun. I am looking forward for training on VM Ware which will give me an insight how this technology mingles with the physical hardware.

In my spare time I have started working on Linux Administration, I have recently build a CentOS Server which is the exact binary of the Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Not to forget that this is a free distribution unlike RHEL, the good thing about this Linux version is this is quite robust unlike Fedora family.

My next experiment on another famous brand of Unix system called FreeBSD, Although it took me considerable amount of time to figure out the terminology of the Operation system itself.

Yes how can I forget to mention!  just creating a simple user is also a nightmare on this Unix flavor. Thus I have decided that I will be loyal to Mr Red Hat. J

In addition to this, I have few trainings lined up which I am looking forward for.

Microsoft Windows 2003, February 23 -27, London, UK

Microsoft Windows Server 2008, March 17- 20, Bristol, UK

Virtualization VM Ware, April, Reading, UK

Finally before I my end my blog today some updates on my personal,  I recently got engaged on 26 Jan, yeh that’s right India’s Republic  day.

More update on my wedding which is not too far will be coming soon. …

If you wish to contact me or have any comments feel free.

Get more done by working Smarter!

Working as a System Analyst is very exiting job, but if your not smart enough! It can become a little boring.

let me give you a simple example, I was doing some of the housekeeping of the Servers that we support, which involved me to do a series of task on each Server, you might be thinking that’s not a big deal !

well reconsider it once more  if you have to do that task 300 times, the same steeps on all the Servers (if you have 300 Servers) or if you have to do a task several time a day on few Servers, Now that  can get very tedious job, and off course can become boring too.

the only solution around this problem  is scripting or Coding or Programming.

Ok hang on are you one of the guy who likes to keep away form programming like me ?

Well in all honesty,  I use to say that programming is not my peace of cake as I am a system Admin, but let me give you another example.  As you’re the Administrator you are been told to create a user account for a new starter, well if he just needs the domain access your job is very easy as you just need to create one user at the Active directory dome controller. But if you need to give him logon locally access you have to create a local account on each of the Server, if you have  300 Servers, then its not wise to logon each server and careate a user.

Ok now you will need a method or a script to do that job for you, You do not need to be an expert to do it, you should just know, want to be done.

Dint get it ?

I know scripting sounds scary isn’t it,  don’t worry you do not need to learn every thing, Scripting is very simple, its a set of commands which you want to do. If your very lucky you can find a ready to use code on the internet, all you got to do now is download it and edit it according to your need then please do not forget to test before you implement. once your convinced that the script is doing the exact job as you wanted.

Wala

Believe me it does make our life a lot easy

so if your need to do a task more then once which can take 10 minutes each time you do it.

Try to write a Script.

if you  have to do a series of admin tasks on several computers

 Try to write a script

If you want to run a particular task at a time when you wont be in the office or it simply does not need any monitoring.

Again try to write a script.

just write a simple script and keep it. so wheen you need to do it again you can just execute that code and it will do it for you

Magic isn’t it J

Ok this is how you can work smatter rather then harder

I have gathered some useful links which is worth watching.

Special thanks to my friend Nathan who has not only given me this idea but helped me by going through some of the scripts which he wrote earlier, now I have managed to do the same task with in a matter of minutes just by working smarter.

Hear are some of the links you can find useful other wise just use Google

 

 

You will find a lot of new scripting tools like windows Power Shell, and other useful software and technical articles for making the Admin task easy by scripting

Microsoft TechNet :

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/default.mspx

 

Scripting: Your First Steps

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/scriptcenter/topics/beginner/firststeps.mspx

 

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